"You can't judge a book by its cover" is a saying that's been used for hundreds of years. It's a simple phrase meant to convey that you shouldn't judge someone or something simply by what's visible on the outside.
And when it comes to cold cases, you can't judge a case by its synopsis.
In April of 2019 when we were first introduced to Ruth Whitman's case by Colonie Police Investigator Kevin Terry, her unsolved homicide didn't seem complex. She was rarely home, she didn't seem to have many close friends, she was in a relationship with a man who went on to kill someone in a bar fight, and she was also unwed and pregnant. Compared to the murder of Catherine Blackburn, who we focused on in the first half of Season Two, Ruth's case seemed so much less intricate.
But, you can't judge a case by its synopsis.
In this episode, the Director of the Cold Case Analysis Center at The College of Saint Rose, Dr. Christina Lane and I speak to forensic psychologist Dr. Chris Kunkle about Ruth's case. We discuss possible suspects surrounding her unsolved murder including one of New York's most infamous serial killers - Robert Garrow.
We also speak to students of The Cold Case Analysis Center who have read through the case file and they share their findings.
In the Season Finale of Upstate Unsolved, we attempt to give Ruth's case the attention she deserves and continue to ask for anyone who knew Ruth or the people who made up her life to come forward. Additionally, we share a potential lead that will be touched upon in a Season Two Update in the near future.
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Photo: Colonie Police Department